Personal Statement in need of review!

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rowdyreptile5861
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Personal Statement in need of review!

Postby rowdyreptile5861 » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:08 pm

This is my PS after a few minor revisions internally. I think I have a good topic, but I'm not sure if I've executed it well enough. I'm very concerned with the final paragraph and if I've sufficiently answered the "Why Law School?" question that some schools like to see answered. It's a very weak conclusion, but I've exhausted my creative skills for the moment and wanted to see if anyone has any suggestions. By no means is this a final draft, but I wanted some feedback to see if I'm on the right track. Thanks for reading!



The most important aspect of a fully functioning democracy is a well informed electorate. Without that, the whole system just doesn’t work. But well informed electorates do not appear out of thin air. They are born and bred out of an education system that not only gives its students the knowledge they need, but also teaches them how to solve problems that have yet to present themselves. In case you haven’t been paying attention over the last 20 years, educational quality in the United States has been falling, not just gradually but markedly. Pundits claim that budget constraints, dilapidated facilities and a lack of incentives for teachers to perform well have all contributed to this serious problem. But truth be told, no one has a perfect answer to this ever growing elephant in the room. I, like a lot of innocent bystanders, had even less of a clue than the so called “experts”. I’m not the kind of person who looks at my own ignorance as a statement of fact; something that can’t be changed and must be accepted. So like a good student, I decided to read, research and write about our system; learning it’s in’s and out’s and maybe, just maybe, come up with a solution that others hadn’t thought of. The goal that I have pursued over the last 12 months has given me an introspective look not only into one of the foremost institutions of our country (the public school), but also into my own soul.

As the one of the premiere student organizations at the University of Florida, The Warrington Finance Scholars Program has a lot to offer its members. But one of the aspects I found most appealing was the opportunity to write a thesis paper on the subject of my choosing. I have always been interested in writing, but for the longest time I was frustrated with the typical creative writing assignment. I yearned for my work to have a practical purpose, something that could help solve a problem or find a solution. This thesis paper provided me with the perfect opportunity to do just that, as well as to write about a topic that I have long been passionate about; the public education system.

What I’ve learned along the way has surprised me. It’s not shocking to find out that the underlying problems our system faces are viewed differently depending on what side of the political spectrum your ideology falls on. The right blames teachers unions and centralization of government. The left blames a decreasing amount of funding from national and state legislatures, and low salaries for teachers. I had preconceived notions on the issue, but when I really got down to figuring out the facts, I realized that both sides have merits to their argument. My mom always told me not to rush to judgment before I had the details, but I don’t think anyone ever listens to their mother until they are put in that situation firsthand. I’ve learned that lesson one to many times before, but it only truly hit home when I started work on this paper.

I’m going to spare giving you a detailed report of my findings and recommendations, that’s not why I’m writing this. I went into this project completely blind; with only a limited and biased knowledge of what was really going on. I emerged a more informed and enlightened member of society, armed with the awareness of unbiased facts. I can say I’ve achieved a lot of success with this paper, both academically and personally. But one of the things I can’t say I’ve accomplished is a realistic plan for answering the questions that I started out trying to solve. I don’t view that as a failure. The issues we face are large and complex, and no one person is going to be able to solve them. It takes input from many different kinds of people, and only through teamwork are we really going to start to make progress; a metaphor applicable to life as well as to problem solving.

Law school was always the logical next step for me. My passion for public policy issues, like education, has always been enhanced by my desire to relentlessly search for the facts. Attending XX law school will allow me to gain insight into the legal framework behind not only our political system, but the way in which legislation is written and the direct impact it has on our hallowed institutions. I suppose creating a well informed electorate starts by convincing just one person to give up the preconceived notions they have about an issue. I hope I’ve accomplished that in my thesis paper, and I hope I can continue to do it in the future.

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rowdyreptile5861
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri May 17, 2013 6:57 pm

Re: Personal Statement in need of review!

Postby rowdyreptile5861 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:18 am

I'll re-post, in the hope that I get some responses.

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rowdyreptile5861
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri May 17, 2013 6:57 pm

Re: Personal Statement in need of review!

Postby rowdyreptile5861 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:56 pm

An updated version of my personal statement. This is my last try with a re-post, so hopefully I'll get some feedback.




The most important aspect of a fully functioning democracy is a well informed electorate. Without that, the whole system just doesn’t work. However, well informed electorates do not appear out of thin air. They are born and bred out of an education system that not only gives its students the knowledge they need, but also teaches them how to solve problems that have yet to present themselves. In case you have not been paying attention over the last twenty years, the quality of education in the United States is declining, and not just gradually but markedly.

Pundits claim that budget constraints, dilapidated facilities, and a lack of incentives for teachers to perform well have all contributed to this serious problem. But truth be told, no one has a perfect answer to this growing elephant in the room. I, like the majority of Americans, had even less of a clue than the so-called “experts”. I am not the kind of person who views my own ignorance as a statement of fact; something that cannot be changed and must be accepted. So like a good student, I decided to read, research, and write about our system; learning its ins and outs and maybe, just maybe, come up with a solution others haven’t thought of. The goal that I have pursued over the last twelve months has given me an introspective look not only into one of the foremost institutions of our country, the public school, but also into my own soul.

As one of the premier student organizations at the University of Florida, The Warrington Finance Scholars Program offers many benefits to its members. One of the aspects I found most appealing was the opportunity to write a thesis paper on the subject of my choosing. I have always been interested in writing, but for the longest time I was frustrated with the typical creative writing assignment. I yearned for my work to have a practical purpose that could help solve a problem or discover a new solution. This thesis paper provided me with the perfect opportunity to do just that, as well as to write about a topic that I have long been passionate about; the public education system.

What I have learned along the way has surprised me. It is not shocking to find out that the underlying problems of our system are viewed differently based on which side of the political spectrum your ideology falls on. The right blames teachers’ unions and the centralization of government. The left blames decreasing amounts of federal and state funding in addition to low salaries for teachers. I had preconceived notions on the issue, but when I got down to figuring out the facts, I realized that both sides’ arguments have merit. My mom always told me not to make rash judgments before I had the details, but I do not think that anyone ever listens to their mother until they are put in that situation firsthand. I have learned that lesson too many times before, but it only truly hit home when I started working on this paper.

I will refrain from giving you a detailed report of my findings and recommendations because that is not why I am writing this. I went into this project with severely limited and biased knowledge of what was really occurring. At the conclusion of my project and armed with the awareness of unbiased facts, I emerged a better informed and more enlightened member of society. I can truthfully say that I have achieved a lot of academic and personal success with this paper. Nevertheless, one of the things that I cannot say that I have accomplished is developing a realistic plan for answering the questions that I attempted to solve. I do not view that shortcoming as a failure. The issues we face are large and complex, and no single person is going to be able to solve them alone. It takes input from many different kinds of people, and only through teamwork are we going to start making progress; a message as applicable to life as it is to problem solving.

Law school has always been the logical next step for me. My passion for public policy issues such as education has always been enhanced by my desire to relentlessly search for the facts. Attending XX law school will allow me to gain insight into the legal framework behind our political system as well as see the way in which legislation is written and the impact it has on our hallowed institutions. I suppose that establishing a well informed electorate begins by persuading just one person to give up their preconceived notions about an issue. I know that I have accomplished that with my thesis paper. I hope that law school will provide me with the knowledge and tools needed to open the eyes of others the way that my eyes have been opened. My experience with this thesis has provided me with invaluable knowledge, but I still have much to learn.

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kellohitty
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Re: Personal Statement in need of review!

Postby kellohitty » Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:46 pm

rowdyreptile5861 wrote: In case you haven’t been paying attention over the last 20 years, educational quality in the United States has been falling, not just gradually but markedly.


If I was on the adcom, I'd be a little offended by the tone of this sentence. It just sounds like you are underestimating the intelligence of the reader. I haven't read the rest of it yet, but this just sticks out.

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RCO2012
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Re: Personal Statement in need of review!

Postby RCO2012 » Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:08 am

kellohitty wrote:
rowdyreptile5861 wrote: In case you haven’t been paying attention over the last 20 years, educational quality in the United States has been falling, not just gradually but markedly.


If I was on the adcom, I'd be a little offended by the tone of this sentence. It just sounds like you are underestimating the intelligence of the reader. I haven't read the rest of it yet, but this just sticks out.


Oooo yes this part must be re written.




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